It’s the ‘MO’ label on the sidewall that Hankook says it is particularly proud of. The two letters stand for ‘Mercedes Original’, and only tyres that match the strict quality criteria are approved as original equipment for Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
These marking can be found on the sidewall of three different Hankook tyres, which are being fitted as OE to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class as part of a supply agreement that began almost 10 years ago.
Sanghoon Lee, president of Hankook Tire Europe said: “We are very proud to be the original equipment supplier for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, which is considered the absolute top of the luxury segment in the global automotive industry. We see this as confirmation that our products meet the highest requirements across different markets.”
After Hankook was already represented with a basic tyre on a previous model, Mercedes-Benz has now included Hankook as the original equipment manufacturer for a large number of different tyre sizes and types following its approval for the S-Class. For the current model from 2020 onwards, Hankook supplies three different tyre types, for summer, winter and all-season in a range of different sizes.
In the European market, the Hankook Ventus S1 evo 3 summer tyres for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class range from size 255/50 R18 to 285/40 R19. The Mercedes-Benz Group has approved the Hankook Winter i*cept evo 2 in sizes 255/50 R18 and 255/45 R19 as winter tyres for its top model. The Hankook engineers were able to significantly improve the driving behaviour of both tyre types with an aramid hybrid reinforcement belt.
The Hankook Winter i*cept evo 2 also boasts a further optimised tread stiffness, which is beneficial in terms of handling and mileage.
Klaus Krause, head of the Hankook Europe Technical Center in Hanover, who played a key role in the development of the tyres in accordance with MO specifications said: “During the transition from the first to the second casting, we applied additional cross-braces and a lower tread depth. Narrower lateral tread grooves and a modified contour on the second upper groove once again brought about measurable progress in terms of noise comfort.”
With the Hankook Ventus S1 evo 3 and the Hankook Winter i*cept evo 2, the tyre manufacturer also meets the extreme requirements of a runflat tyre and has earned the MOE seal of approval on the tyre wall. The Mercedes-Benz Group uses the MOE (Mercedes Original Extended) label to designate runflat tyres with reinforced sidewalls. They can continue to be driven at up to 80 km/h even in the event of a sudden loss of pressure.
They guarantee sufficient mobility even in the event of a flat tyre, allowing the driver to get from the motorway or a country road to the nearest workshop for example. Nevertheless, even the Hankook runflat tyres are characterised by a high level of driving comfort, since they only pass on the bumps in the road to the chassis and thus the passengers to a very small extent.
Meanwhile, exclusive to Mercedes-Benz S-Class customers in the United States is the Hankook Ventus S1 noble 2 in size 255/45 R 19 or 255/40 R20.